Letter: Plans for Main Street should be dropped
To the Editor:
Marconi said other residents have told him they avoid driving on Main Street [...] But [...] the state is not going to force matters.
“They’re saying [...] here’s what we’re thinking of doing, and if you don’t want anything, we will walk away and see you in another 30 years.’”
DOT engineers are nice people, well meaning but they aren't interested in charm. They are interested in efficiency.
Ridgefield remains a charming New England town because we have respected its history. In short, Ridgefielders and DOT engineers have different agendas.
The engineers are interested in one thing: speeding traffic through town. It escapes me how that’s going to be good for Ridgefielders.
To date, the discussion has centered on turning lanes, widening Main Street, reducing parking spots, replacing trees.
Does anyone really think that if these changes were effected that traffic would improve? Not me. There will be more pass-through traffic because drivers use our Main Street as a shortcut, a faster alternative to Route 7. If it’s faster, it’s better for them, not us.
I submit these plans should be dropped and, instead, there should be a study of how drivers can be dissuaded from taking the shortcut through Ridgefield’s Main Street.
How about heavy traffic signage at the Route 35/Route 7 fork? How about limiting truck traffic? How about increased police presence? There must be other options. I don’t see alternatives being discussed.
If the state wants to help, install Belgian block crossing humps on Main Street and 35 so pedestrians can cross safely. Add sidewalks where there are none, install street lamps and trees leading into town adding to Ridgefield’s charm and hiding our unattractive strip malls.
Having said that, kudos to Talbots, the bicycle building, the building across from it, Toscana Restaurant building and other such construction that is more village-like.